Next stop: integrating with Google Assistant.
January 9, 2019
“Hey Siri, stream iTunes through my hearing aid.” That’s just one of many things you can do with the ReSound Linx Quattro, the first smart hearing aid to use AI to pair with Apple’s Siri assistant.
Smart hearing aids are part of a burgeoning field of gadgets set to transform the health care industry. For the Linx Quattro, that means drawing people with hearing impairment further into their digital world.
The Linx Quattro uses AI to learn your preferences and settings over time, and to proactively make adjustments to various sound profiles. You’ll be able to ask Siri to change profiles with voice commands (e.g. turn up the volume in my left ear).
Siri on the ReSound Linx Quattro Smart Hearing Aid a First for AI voice Control full article
Discrimination lawsuit highlights legal risk for brokerages that don’t comply with Americans with Disabilities Act by Teke Wiggin Staff Writer
Compass is being sued for allegedly failing to make its website fully accessible to blind people, raising the specter that real estate brokerages remain exposed to a legal risk about which the National Association of Realtors had previously warned members.
The suit, which is seeking class-action status and was filed on Dec. 12 in a New York district court, accuses Compass of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for “its failure to design, construct, maintain, and operate its website to be fully accessible to and independently usable by Plaintiff and other blind or visually-impaired people.”
Compass Slapped With Lawsuit Over Website Access for the Blind full article
Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or deafblind will soon have access to faster, better message relay services By Sameer Chhabra
Dec 14, 2018
Canada’s telecommunications watchdog has issued a decision mandating standards for message relay services.
According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) December 14th, 2018 decision, groups that provide text-based message relay services (MRS) like teletypewriter relay (TTY) and internet protocol relay (IP relay) will be required to implement quality of service standards, as well as a standard for call answer time and typing speed.
As per the CRTC’s latest telecom decision, 80 percent of all calls each months will need to be responded to by a live MRS operator within 20 seconds.
CRTC Mandates Standards for TTY, IP Relay Accessibility Messaging Services full article
New features include “alternative text” to provide descriptions for pics. by Gordon Gottsegen
November 28, 2018
On Wednesday, Instagram announced new features intended to provide a better experience for people with vision impairments.
Instagram is introducing automatic alternative text, which lets you hear descriptions of pictures when using Instagram with a screen reader. The automatic alternative text uses object recognition tech to generate a list of things that may appear in the photo, helping people know what they’re looking at.
Instagram also lets you create your own alternative text. When posting a photo, you’ll be able to go into the Advanced Settings and add your own alt text, which can be heard when using a screen reader.
Instagram Improving Accessibility for Users with Visual Impairments full article
There’s already a blueprint for a more accessible internet. If only designers would learn it.
By Anne Quito•November 15, 2018
The internet can be a hostile space for 15% of the world’s population who experience some form of disability.
Try navigating a website as someone who is visually impaired: Turn on voice command on your computer (Command ? + F5 if you’re on a Mac, enable Navigator if you’re on a PC) and go to Amazon’s Kindle store. You’ll quickly find out that those who rely on voice commands can’t skip around and are doomed to listen to every notation about every page element before getting to the one piece of information they need.
The Internet Is An Unwelcoming Place to the Disabled full article
Date Filed: 10/22/2018
On October 18, 2018, Disability Rights Advocates(DRA) and a coalition of blind advocates filed a class action lawsuit in Federal Court against the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and its county agents for failing to provide Medi-Cal notices in accessible formats, such as Braille.
The plaintiffs are the California Council of the Blind and three individuals; co-counsel is the Disability Rights and Education Fund and Disability Rights California. Read the complaint at the link below.
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Medi-Cal full article
Universities are under legal pressure to make their websites fully accessible to people with disabilities, but is “fully” even possible? By Lindsay McKenzie
November 6, 2018
Hundreds of colleges and universities across the country are currently under investigation by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights for failing to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities.
Universities that receive federal financial aid are required by law to make reasonable accommodations to ensure their web content is accessible to everyone, including, but not limited to, people who are blind, deaf or have limited mobility.
Feds Prod Universities to Address Website Accessibility full article
Editors Note: As a member of the Accessibility Team that tested Gutenberg I can tell you at the time I tested it, it was garbage and totally inaccessible to me and my screen reader, if your company has any employees who use assistive devices, do not upgrade until they fix it .
?Sarah Gooding October 25, 2018
WPCampus is looking to hire a company to perform an accessibility audit of the Gutenberg editor. The organization is a community of more than 800 web professionals, educators, and others who work with WordPress in higher education. WPCampus director Rachel Cherry published a request for proposals detailing the organization’s specific concerns:
WPCampus is Pursuing an Independent Accessibility Audit of Gutenberg full article
Originally Published: 03 October 2018
The worlds first machine capable of turning British Sign Language (BSL) into written English is set to be built by the University of Surrey as part of a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
BSL is a language in its own right, with its own grammar, and it is very different from English. BSL uses several parts of the body simultaneously to fully express a range phrases, ideas and emotions.
Surrey to Build World’s First Translation System for British Sign Language full article
Other countries have on-screen interpreters during news broadcasts Sherry Noik, CBC News, September 27, 2018.
When the next ice storm, wildfire or terror attack happens, Canadians who are deaf or hard of hearing will be in greater peril than others because most public notification systems are not accessible to them, experts say.
The Canadian Hearing Society estimates there are 3.15 million Canadians who are hard of hearing and 340,000 Canadians who are deaf, including an estimated 11,000 who are deaf-blind. In policy and in practice, Canada lags behind other countries in ensuring their safety in an emergency.
Deaf Canadians ‘At Risk’ in Times of National Emergency full article
October 1 2018
The latest statistics show that people are living longer in virtually every country in the world, with the over 60 age group growing faster than any other cohort.
The aging global population is altering many aspects of society, none more so than housing. When quizzed about their preferred living arrangements, the overwhelming majority of over 60’s (up to 90%) stated that they’d prefer to stay in their own home as they grow older known as ‘Aging in Place’. Yet the challenges brought on by deterioration in mental and physical health as we age, often make this difficult.
How Technology is Assisting Seniors to ‘Age in Place’ full article
BY BEN JACOBSON email@example.com
September 16, 2018
A pair of U.S. senators from Iowa say it’s unclear whether the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act transcends the physical world into the cyber realm.
Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both Republicans, have asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to explore whether the 1990 law applies to website accessibility as well.
“For nearly 30 years, the ADA has protected countless individuals with disabilities, ensuring physical access to ‘any place of public accommodation,'” the senators wrote in a letter, co-authored by lawmakers from North Carolina, South Dakota, Idaho and Texas. “We support the ADA and all that it stands for.
Senators Urge DOJ to Weigh in On ADA Impact on Websites full article
Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, September 13, 2018
LONDON — Hadeel Ayoub slips a black glove onto her hand before beginning the swish of sign language that is meaningless to the untrained observer. Then she pushes a button on her wrist, and a small speaker relays the message drawn in the air: “Let’s Dance!”
“My dream is to give a voice to those who can’t speak,” says the 36-year-old inventor who is developing her BrightSign glove while working toward a Ph.D. in assistive technology at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Talking Gloves, Tactile Windows: New Tech Helps the Disabled full article
By: Jason Law
Updated: Aug 29, 2018
BOSTON – Grocery shopping can be very stressful. Navigating crowded aisles in a store full of people is frustrating, but if you’re blind, like Kim Charlson, then grocery shopping can be almost impossible.
A new tool, however, could revolutionize shopping for people who can’t see.
It’s an app that helps the visually impaired navigate the world and does it using the eyes in your smartphone.
“You come into a grocery store and you’re just bombarded with everything all around you,” Charlson explained. “It’s just not the place a blind person can get around independently without some kind of support.”
Wegmans Adds a ‘Game-Changer’ for Visually Impaired Shopping full article
By Malcolm Owen
Monday, August 20, 2018
Apple has become the target of a new lawsuit, one that claims the iPhone producer’s website is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not being fully accessible to blind or visually-impaired consumers, due to the way the website itself is coded.
Filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York on Sunday, the complaint from the plaintiff Himelda Mendez is said to be filed on behalf of other users in a similar accessibility situation. Apple is the sole defendant in the lawsuit.
Apple Sued Over Claims Website is Inaccessible to Visually Impaired Users full article
Disabled turn to courts for equal access to business, government websites By Ron Hurtibise
South Florida Sun Sentinel
July 22, 2018
Business owners who think that building a wheelchair ramp and grab bars in the restroom will ward off South Florida’s accessibility testers and their lawsuits need to fire up their computers, go to their websites and ask: “What’s missing?”
Lawsuits accusing businesses of failing to ensure that their websites are accessible to deaf, blind, or otherwise disabled customers have been on the rise in recent years and show no sign of tapering off, say attorneys who specialize in accessibility litigation.
Most Business Websites Are Sitting Ducks for ADA Suits, Experts Say full article
AI technology such as voice interaction, image recognition and real-time captioning is starting to break down barriers for people with sensory, physical and cognitive disabilities.
In today’s world, so much relies on information. But this can make navigating everyday life even more of a barrier for people with a sensory, physical or cognitive impairment. Fortunately, the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology is helping people with disabilities both interact with the physical world and use digital devices and services.
4 Areas AI Makes the World More Accessible full article
New legislation coming into force will mean that, as early as 2020, all public-sector organisations, including all councils will need to make sure that their digital services and online information are accessible for disabled people.
In October 2016, an EU Directive came in which states all public-sector bodies must have accessible digital services by 2020. This means that they can be used by people with disabilities and additional needs, for example using screen readers or other assistive technology. Brexit has meant that this Directive is now being transferred into UK law and will come into effect in its first phase in 2020. The move will ensure that the 20% of people in the UK who have a limiting illness or disability will be able to access public sector websites, software and mobile applications.
Disability Legislation to Crack Down on Public Bodies in the UK full article
It’s the biggest health crisis you’ve never heard of. Doctors, philanthropists and companies are trying to solve it. By Andrew Jacobs
New York Times, Originally posted May 5, 2018
PANIPAT, India: Shivam Kumar’s failing eyesight was manageable at first. To better see the chalkboard, the 12-year-old moved to the front of the classroom, but in time, the indignities piled up.
Increasingly blurry vision forced him to give up flying kites and then cricket, after he was repeatedly whacked by balls he could no longer see. The constant squinting gave him headaches, and he came to dread walking home from school.
“Sometimes I don’t see a motorbike until it’s almost in my face,” he said.
A Simple Way to Improve a Billion Lives: Eyeglasses full article
When reporting on an event like the annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, it’s tempting to try to sum it up with a single narrative. This is my third year covering the trade show portion of CSUN. In addition to asking questions for AccessWorld, I was part of the Blind Bargains podcast team You’ll find links to some of our interviews at the link below.
A couple of years ago, Jamie Pauls wrote that CSUN and other accessibility-focused trade shows inaugurated the year of Braille. This year, a number of the products announced in 2016 are available to purchase, some have even been updated, and a few still aren’t available at all. Most of these items exemplify important improvements in function, price, or both.
CSUN 2018 Heralds The Year of Wearables–Unless It Doesn’t full article